tv Starting Point CNN January 4, 2012 7:00am-9:00am EST
welcome, everybody, to our new show talled "starting point" and we are live once against at the waveland cafe in iowa. our starting point, the closest presidential contest ever. mitt romney winning but by eight votes. came down to one mystery precinct and one missing county. already staked out in the next two critical battlegrounds, of course, new hampshire and south carolina and we're talking to last night's big winner as he moves on to home turf, and also ron paul later on. "starting point" begins right now. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com good morning, everybody. we are back at the waveland cafe. and official, a few hours ago, mitt romney, 30,015 votes. santorum om eight votes behind,
and both candidates coming out to speak before the final votes came in last night. romney moved on. his eyes on the big prize. take a listen. >> you are working, i am working and we're all working together because of our passion for this country and a concern led by a president who may be a nice guy but just is over his head, and i look at his campaign -- you know, four years ago tonight he was giving a victory celebration speech here in des moines, and he'd been going across the state making all sorts of promises. the gap between his promises four years ago and his performance is as great as anything i've ever seen in my life. >> mitt romney, he was talking there about president barack obama, but, really, it's rick santorum who he's talking to, we'll speak to, a big endorsement from john mccain and he beat mitt romney back in 2008. and coming up just short -- built on that traditional iowa
caucus campaign. 400 rallies, 99 counties. santorum with one message to iowa voters before it's off to new hampshire and he said this -- >> thank you so much, iowa. you -- you, by standing up and not compromising. by standing up and being bold and leading. leading with that burden and responsibility you have to be first, you have taken the first step of taking back this country. >> and it looks like first in, first out. amp a disappointing showing in last night's caucuses, texas governor rick perry says he'll go home and do some thinking. take a listen. >> with the voters decision tonight in iowa, i've decided to
return it texas, assess the results of tonight's caucus, determine whether there is a path forward for myself in this race. >> closer look now at who voted for mitt romney? who voted for rick santorum? who voted for ron paul? specifically and why. christine romans is breaking down those numbers for us this morning. she's at the cnn election center. hey, christine, good morning. >> good morning, soledad. from where you are in iowa to where we are here in iowa, this is what it looked like last night, all of this purple is rick santorum. he took the middle part of the state. i want to go back to 2008 in iowa so you can see some of the similarities here. look at this kn. no part of the state went to huckabee, won with 35% of vote in 2008. in 2008, one county, just one county for ron paul. by 2012, ron paul picked up all of this extra territory here and this red, of course, is mitt romney. and mitt romney, you know,
basically had the same, even maybe a few votes less this time around in the iowa caucuses than in 2008. the people voting for him, the same number of people voting for him in 2008 voting for him in 2012. so if all of this is ron paul resurgence here and a surge for rick santorum, why did mitt romney win iowa, then? you can figure out that by looking at population. this magic wall here sizes for population. you see across the river from omaha. des moines, part of central iowa, cedar rapids, davenport, over by dubuque. places with higher populations and those higher populated places with higher incomes, quite frankly, those are the places where people voted for mitt romney. for mitt romney, and that's why he managed to take the state by a very, very slim margin. the middle of the state, that was definitely, definitely territory that was santorum territory. territory held by mike huckabee four years ago.
soledad? >> all right, chris tooep, thanks. right to our political panel for analysis of that. senior political analyst, editorial and a national democratic editor for go vote dotcom and a republican consultant and cnn political contributor. cutting down on all of that since our last talk his morning. okay. winner, yet really it's more likesqueaker-byer of what happened. >> it was less than probably the margin of error in counting it. what happened last night, mitt romney essentially stood in place from 2008. he largely held his vote from 2008. didn't really expand it, but that was enough to get slightly ahead in a very fractured field. this result in iowa reshuffled the cast, basically reaffirmed the republican race. >> which is rick santorum? >> well, it's that mitt romney
has his piece of the party. did well with voters who are not evangelicals, 38%, voters that are not members of the tea party. only 14% among evangelical and those voters once again as we've seen in polls all year did not entirely unify. santorum got the lion's share, not as much as mike huck abye d -- huckabee did four years ago. >> people prohibited a huge turnout and talk about frustration and also that could lead people to go to the polls, and we didn't see a giant jump up from 2008. >> no, we didn't. and when you see that large and undecided turnout right before an election, it tells you something. it tells you that they haven't found someone to love, and that's what happened in this election. it's like saying, hey, i want to go to the movies. i just don't know which movie i want to the see. it doesn't work that way.
>> if this is the environment and the contest started, who is the win jer is it barack obama? >> i think it is president obama. look at what happened last night. i was on the phone with a friend of mine's dad who lives in iowa. republican voter. i don't like enough of these guys to show up at a caucus. we saw that. not a big turnout over 2008. less voters came out then than for president obama. after six, seven years of campaigning, millions of dollar, mitt romney got the same number of voters at last time. a littlefragility there. you see the working plass cou c, towns around the border, talking about manufacturing jobs. mitt romney is a finance guy. rick santorum is talking about manufacturing jobs. >> we have graphic that shows the differentiation between who voted. look at people who made $50,000 or more, mitt romney had the voters.
$50,000 and less it was rick santorum. >> and ron paul in this case. look, the composition of the republican primary, the republican electorate is changing. it's different than it used to be. look at education. in 2008, 51% of the total vote in the republican primary were non-college voters, working class voters. 49% college educated. we've seen democratic primaries repeatedly divided along this line with an upscale candidate and down scale candidate. we call it the wine track and the beer track. >> that's before occupy wall street and the tea party? >> let me finish. usually republican races have not fallen along those lines but there's a real possibility you will see that class divide in the republican party, because mitt romney is a very strong candidate for the upper middle class republicans. they relate to him as a manager and business guy. he's struggled more with the blue collar components. and rick santorum is doing cultural conservative and economic nationalism aimed directly at those voters. >> and fourth place, newt
gingrich, already out of town. a little clip of what he said. he's mad. >> whether this party wants a reagan conservative, who helped change washington in the 1980s with ronald reagan and helped change washington in the 1990s as speaker of the house, somebody who is into changing washington, or we want a massachusetts moderate who, in fact, will be pretty good at managing the decay, but has given no evidence in his years of massachusetts of any ability to change the culture or change the political structure or change the government. >> newt gingrich in this race. >> gingrich is gingrich. it's about to happen. >> no more mr. nice guy. the story about newt gingrich. but this is the best snare dwlee could happen for mitt romney in the worse way. he got what he wanted. >> not sure i'm following you. what does that mean? >> he got wa he wanted. didn't get rick perry, he got
rick santorum, someone he this, we can beat this guy. he has flaws. >> super pac. n. all of this, now rick perry who was going to take on santorum, going negative against santorum is gone from the process. so all of a sudden santorum gets to run loose. but he's got a bulldog on this tail now with newt gingrich, who's going to go after mitt romney -- >> rick santorum doesn't have to go negative. >> right. >> magic blue collar crowd and newt gingrich can be his wing man in attacking mitt romney? >> clearly what's going to happen. >> he's a man on a leash, nothing left to lose. his path to the nomination is doubtful. the same guy who said a month ago, it's inevitable that i'm going to win this thing. now it's almost impossible -- >> he's mad. >> and gingrich will divide the voters resistance to romney. in one hand help santorum tactically. the county votes, probably does what romney wants, further split that portion of the party most
skeptical of him. >> a short break. stick around. i love this parse. parsing the stacks and stacks of stifks we have to look at. ahead on "starting point," behind the scenes of the high wa caucuses. we're talk about how difficult it was to finally settle on one candidate. and mitt romney fresh off his razor tight win, joins us live. that's all ahead on "starting point." be right back. r sore muscles usw bengay cold therapy, it's pro-cool technology releases armies of snowmen masseuse who cuddle up with your soreness and give out polar bear hugs. technology. [ male announcer ] new bengay cold therapy. the same technology used by physical therapists. go to bengay.com for a $3 coupon. forty years ago, he wasn't looking for financial advice. back then he had something more important to do. he wasn't focused on his future. but fortunately, somebody else was. at usaa we provide retirement planning for our military, veterans and their families. now more than ever,
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and now with iowa out of the way, the race turns its attention to new hampshire and south carolina. with six days until new hampshire there isn't time for a breather. reporters standing by in the next two critical battlegrounds. dan lothian live in manchester, new hampshire and dave mattingly live in aiken, south carolina. good morning, guise. what what's going to be happening as we look ahead? >> reporter: well, looking ahead here in new hampshire, this is the next big test for the republican presidential
hopefuls. in a state where mitt romney has had a large double-digit lead over his opponents here for quite some time, the reason is, because he's well-known in this state. not only does he own a second home here, he was the former governor of this state right on the border here of massachusetts, but also he ran in 2008, came in second place here. so people didn't have to get to know mitt romney. they knew him well, and so he has continued consistently, having a strong showing in the polls. the big question now is, will senator santorum be able to get a bounce off of his impressive showing in iowa here in new hampshire? i was at his headquarters there last night, and his supporters who were very energized do believe that this will certainly help their candidate as he comes here and gets a chance to essentially re-introduce himself to new hampshire voters, and if you look at the early polling, and i should point out that this is just those who have been
watching, or were watching the iowa caucuses, all of the numbers for all of the candidates stayed the same, but when you look at santorum's numbers compared to early december, to those who were watching last night, he's gone from 5% to 10%. so already it does show that at least there's some movement there. a little bounce coming out of his impressive showing in iowa. of course, his supporters hoping that that will continue, soledad. >> dan lothian, thanks. we're going to head to new hampshire as well after we wrap the show this morning. and aiken, south carolina. 17 days to go before the primary there and david mattingly. rick perry was supposed to visit with you there and now he says he's heading back to texas to think things out, which is usually what they say right before they drop out of the race. right? >> reporter: that's right. and the big headline here, of course, is nots what's happening in south carolina today, it's what's not happening. rick perry was supposed to be here in aiken today. he was going to be coming to
south carolina as his land of second chances. he was hoping to risk start his campaign and get his candidacy back on track here, almost completely ignoring campaigning in new hampshire, the process. instead he's back in texas this morning re-assessing his campaign. at this point, even the chairman of the gop here in south carolina was quoted yesterday saying that this state is still wide open. everyone watching iowa, seeing how close it was there. everyone knowing that romney is going to do well in new hampshire. no one ready to say exactly who has the upper hand in this state. rick santorum showing in iowa could help him very much here with the social conservatives. he's going to be positioning himself as the candidate who is speaking to the true conservatives in the republican party. mitt romney is going to position himself as the one who has the best chance to beat president obama in the general election, and, of course, this state went
through a lot of trouble to move their primary up ahead of florida after that state moved their primary up so that south carolina could continue to have the first vote in the south to set the tone for the rest of this campaign, and south carolina voters this morning, soledad, are waking up to find out they are exactly in the position they wanted to be in after new hampshire to possibly be the ones to point a finger at the true front-runner in this campaign. >> everybody will be watching there. all right, david mattingly for us this morning. thanks. still to come on "starting point" this morning, the margin, just eight votes. it's a win, though, just the same for mitt romney. the former massachusetts governor will join us live straight ahead. stay with us.mo . if you replace 3 tablespoons of sugar a day with splenda®, you'll save 100 calories a day. that could help you lose up to 10 pounds in a year. and now get even more with splenda® essentials, the only line of sweeteners with a small boost of fiber,
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welcome back, everybody. over 120,000 iowans caucused last night. once every ballot was counted, just eight votes separated mitt romney and rick santorum. in the days before, more than 40% said they could be persuaded to change their minds. last night i got complete access to the caucuses in clive, iowa, southern section of des moines. literally minutes before the vote, still trying to figure it out. with me, four iowans. they cast their votes last night. dr. kristy taylor, running the caucuses. jest westindorf, melanie taylor, dr. taylor's daughter and on the end, nice to see all of you. thanks for getting up early. a late night for all of us. dr. taylor. >> good morning. >> good morning.
fill me in. the sense i got last night from people, undecide, energized to be there but frustrated at the same time subpoe. is that a fair description? >> pretty fair. >> why? >> excited about the change, the vote, having a new leader in the country. very excited about that. at the same time, frustrated maybe everything they wanted wasn't present in one single candidate. >> you are an internist. what issue is not being discussed enough in detail in your mind? >> in my mind, the details on health care in the new plan. everyone says we're going to repeal obama care. i don't think that's specific enough. we can't simply say we're going to repeal obama care and not have a plan. what do you want to do about our national health care? we need to be specific how we want to provide care for people in this country and yet not go broke. >> when we talked to you last night, jeff, you were undecided until seconds before you made the vote. why were you undecided? what was the issue that was a
struggle? >> you have to lay the economic policies with the social policies and economically, that's where i want the focus to be. i think we need to shrink the size of government drastically. i think we have to address major reforms. i think we have to address social security issues. i think we have a younger generation that will end up paying the costs for past generations, and i voted for ron paul, i believe less government is better and i think he's the only candidate i see with a radical approach to the economic issues, and i don't mean radical, i mean it as, he has a broad approach that really will slash government. that's what i think we need in this country. >> melanie, ron paul's been speaking to a lot of young people. you are 20 years old. is he your candidate as well? >> no. i voted for romney. >> and why? >> hop nenestly, it came down t executive experience and electability. i think romney has the
opportunity to really bring in those moderate voters. you know, santorum was a close second for myself, but his electability and his executive experience i think falls a little short of romney's. >> do you guys get the sense there's a change in the gop? jeff, you spoke about this. do you feel a shift, or a tone, is a better way to put it? >> i think there is a divide in the gop. i think it's healthy. the debate is healthy in the country and we should have a robust debate. >> that debate is between what and what? >> i believe the debate is between the social conservatives in our party and the economic conservatives in our party. and i think that debate has been ongoing for many decades. >> brent, i want to ask you a question, who you were supporting last night? >> i ended up supporting perry. >> and gave a great speech. i was there. a good speech to the crowd. got enthusiastic applause, did badly, though, in the polls. what happens now? your candidate, i'm going home to rethink thinks, code for
probably will be dropping out of the race later on today. what do you do now? >> see how things go. see who ends up getting nominated and if i will choose to support them or not, because i don't know. depends. >> what is your biggest concern about the candidates as they move forward and as this whole entire thing moves off iowa and moves to new hampshire? >> i'll like to hear more than sound bites. i'd like to hear specifics when they talk about their 3457bs for health care, for taxes, for jobs. i'd like to hear spukly how they plan to solve these serious problems in our country. >> i would like to hear more about foreign policy. this is a ding dangerous world ling in now and i think we need specifics how president paul, president santorum or president romney will make those decisions in the oval office when it comes to national security. that's the first, and foremost responsibility the president has. >> there are many people who
say, frankly every four year, does iowa really matter? goes first. what does it really all mean? >> do you think that this headline in the morning register, the eight-vote difference has made iowa matter in terms of yes, it does or really, everyone's focused on new hampshire and that's where what matters is happening? >> this shows exactly why iowa matters. we take our politics seriously, we are keenly interested in and truly want the better candidates. this shows the difference between people who just have economic at heart versus social issues and the debate backened forth between the gop party. this really brings those two sides of the republican party to light. >> i think the caucus system really shows that. i mean, probably 1,500 people in the hall last night, and with civilized, rational debate and discussion, and you meet your neighbors and really talk about the issues. that doesn't happen in a primary. that's what makes iowa unique and i think iowans take that
responsibility to heart. >> we appreciate you getting up early, because i was up with y'all last night late. i know how late you went to bed. thanks for being with us this morning. appreciate it. still to come, mitt romney will join us live. i'm going to ask him how it feels to win the iowa caucuses by, hmm, this much. slimmest in history. and on to south carolina for the republican candidates. how the iowa result could impact those races. we'll look at all that straight ahead on "starting point." stay with us. nyquil (stuffy): yeah, we both relieve coughs, sneezing, aches, fevers. tylenol: and i relieve nasal congestion. nyquil (stuffy): overachiever. anncr vo: tylenol cold multi-symptom nighttime relieves nasal congestion... nyquil cold & flu doesn't. can you enjoy vegetables with sauce and still reach your weight loss goals? you can with green giant frozen vegetables. over twenty delicious varieties have sixty calories or less per serving and are now weight watchers-endorsed. try green giant frozen vegetables with sauce.
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guy with an eight-point lead. mitt romney looks like he's a lock in new hampshire if you're looking at polls there. already shifting his attention to florida, where newt gingri gingriching in could be a factor. how could the polls change as some candidates are expected to drop out? next up for the republican presidential candidates, new hampshire, as i said, and south carolina, and while a good showing in iowa helps a candidate's momentum, they're now playing for actual delegates. these are not caucuses. these are primaries. mark mackinnon, a contributor to anderson cooper and the daily beast and a former mccain adviser and joins us. nice to see you. let's talk, in fact, about senator mccain who has said he will be endorsing mitt romney later today, which means that, that's, i guess, already the endorsement. what's the impact of that going
to be for maritt romney? >> a good stroke for mitt romney. they've had differences over the past years. so that's a nice way to come into new hampshire with momentum for romney. iowa cleared the field. three clear losers with perry, bachmann and gingrich, and three clear winners with santorum, romney and paul. so the question is, what happens in new hampshire? the problem for romney that he's got very high expectations. everybody expects him to win and win big. so the real story out of new hampshire may be, who runs second or third there? and remember that jon huntsman has been camping out in waiting for romney to come and gingrich is now very unhappy camper and going to attack romney with the lep of t help of the union leader. it's going to get interesting. >> here's what rick santorum said about this upcoming endorsement from senator mccain. let's take a listen. >> i commend governor romney for
getting his endorsement but i'm not surprised by it. john is a more moderate member of the republican team, and i think he fits in with newt's -- excuse me, with mitt's view of the world and i, you know, i wish him the very best and, again, i have nothing but respect for john mccain. >> so the key word for me there was moderate. he's highlighting. well, he's a moderate. what does he mean that he's signals mitt romney has to do to steal the thunder from sar toreham? move to the right nor? >> that's where santorum has hope. he's consolidating the social conservatives now behind him, and positioning romney at a moderate. so santorum has a lot of potential, particularly in south carolina. now, with perry likely to drop out, bachmann likely to drop out. so santorum can consolidate all of that in south carolina, and
maybe exceed expectations in new hampshire with huntsman taking some of the independent vote out of new hampshire as well. so if the race, it's clearly dividing into social conservatives behind santorum. economic and conservatives behind mitt romney. >> look at who describes themselves as evangelicals, 60% in 2008. very close. what do you read into that number? people said it was going to be probably significantly lower, and it wasn't. >> they've always been a bedrock of the republican's party. they will continue to be, particularly in south carolina and as the race goes south. that's where it's a stumbling block for mitt romney, because rick santorum has very strong socially conservative credentials. the only real surprise is rick santorum is a surprise, because he is a very credible candidate with the social conservatives,
has been for a long time. has a long record. she a very disciplined campaigner, very focused. he's been through a lot of tough campaigns, and one in states where it's tough to win as a conservative. so rick santorum should be taken very seriously, and i think that while he doesn't have a lot of organization or a lot of money, momentum and messages is what's key in today's presidential politics. so he may have a pretty good roll here for a while, and a great story with blue collar voters. >> well, you know, let's talk about that. those blue collar voters, and in an environment where almost every single day there's some conversation about occupy wall street or occupy des moines here, when the tea party -- people who really are feeling sort of left out of the mainstream, is that going to be a huge opportunity for santorum and a huge problem for someone like mitt romney who is a wealthy businessman with credentials in that area? >> exactly right, soledad. the reason this race has shifted
towards obama, whereas, a few months ago looked like republicans could run away with the race next year, what's happened, the reason, the gap closed because president obama has fixed on a very compelling narrative about the middle class squeeze versus the elites, and mitt romney no matter what he does is going to be positioned it's a an elite. rick santorum has a very real blue collar background, can relate to middle class voters in a way that mitt romney never can. so that's where he's got a lot of potential, and that's you know -- white, middle class, blue collar workers is where the core of the republican party has been recently over history. so santorum's got a real opportunity to go after those voters. >> mark mackinnon for us this morning. nice to see pup thanks for talking to us. we're talking to our panelists. welcome back. he was talking blue collar, and that is a problem for president
obama. those blue -- white, blue collar economically challenged at this point, as a lot of people in america are. how important is this? >> i don't think it's that big a problem with president obama in a general election. talking about the social issues that matter, abortion on the table. santorum, dog whistles, i don't want to give african-americans money, that sort of thing. >> a very loose quote, by the way. >> well, it was -- >> exactly. >> pretty close. >> no. >> could be a dog whistle, talking about rick santorum, by the way. so i think -- >> there will be some white working class voters responsive to that, but the president has done a pretty good job of finding where he needs to be and finding the voters to win. i have a lot of confidence in obama. >> one of the abilities barack obama has is that he has morphed himself into an elitist from the
guy who was bringing all america together. he's more harvard now than he was chicago streets. he's a man surrounded by experts. he talks about america in the third person a lot. "they." and i think you see a lot picture, in the negative commercials against him with barack obama, his chin raised looking down his nose nap resonates in focus groups. what does that mean? who would you rather have a beer with? our barack obama, mitt romney and rick santorum, the guy most likely, i think, in this to have a beer with is the blue collar guy, rick santorum. >> a slight dissenting note. barack obama is in a struggle with blue collar whites no matter who the republican nominee is. 63% non-college whites, republican in 2010 in the congressional elections. rick santorum or mitt romney, those vetters are probably going to be predominantly republican. the question i think more for republicans is, who can carve
into obama's strength upper middle class white voters? suburban, more socially -- santorum, in 2006 lost four suburban counties outside philadelphia, oncerepublicwere republican bed wererock. he has a greatest weakness where they have the most need to improve i think in 2008 in order to beat barack obama. >> but you're getting a signal that maybe rick santorum has learned something about this. because he's not running to south carolina like rick perry intended to do, like michele bachmann was intending to do. he's going to new hampshire to talk economics instead of south carolina, to talk social issues. very inclusive. presented himself as a candidate who wants everybody to make progress today. not the s versus m. >> and latinos. rick santorum's going to have to figure 0 way, or any republican, to cut into the president's
appeal, particularly in arizona, new mexico, colorado, nevada. those states, which in the president's math mean a lot more to him now than places maybe plik west virginia and maybe some parts of ohio. >> looking down the road a little bit. i'm going to ask you to stick around. still to come on "starting point," the man who made history in iowa. mitt romney joins us live in just a moment. stay with us. plaque psoriasis. i decided enough is enough. ♪ [ spa lady ] i started enbrel. it's clinically proven to provide clearer skin. [ rv guy ] enbrel may not work for everyone -- and may not clear you completely, but for many, it gets skin clearer fast, within 2 months, and keeps it clearer up to 9 months. [ male announcer ] because enbrel suppresses your immune system, it may lower your ability to fight infections. serious, sometimes fatal, events including infections, tuberculosis, lymphoma, other cancers, and nervous system and blood disorders have occurred.
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welcome back. obviously, a big night for the romney camp. they eked out a victory over a late-surging rick santorum when the latest poll showing romney way commanding lead in new hampshire, he's starting to focus on president obama. listen. >> four years ago tonight he was giving a victory celebration speech here in des moines, and he'd been going across the state making all sorts of promises. the gap between his promises four years ago and his performance is as great as anything i've ever seen in my life. >> and mitt romney joins us live from des moines this morning. nice to see you, sir. thank you for being with us. we appreciate it. congratulations.
how are you feeling, though, about a lead that was really this big? an absolute squeeze-by? >> well, i'm actually feeling terrific, because, as you know, we were well behind several weeks ago. i don't think many people gave is a shot of beating speaker gingri gingrich. we obviously won last night, although it was very, very close, obviously, rick santorum and ron paul also had big nights. we all came out of iowa a lot stronger. >> you were one point behind, but rick santorum was way, way, way behind and managed to close the gap and even then some. what's the strategy as you move forward? is it focusing on president obama or is it focusing on rick santorum who seems to be the guy with all the momentum at this point? >> i continue to believe the right place to focus is on president obama. of course, people are going to ask us about the differences on our positions on issues and backgrounds and so forth, but, really, if we talk about what the american people want to hear, it's how we're going to be different than president obama when it comes to getting the
economy going, preserving america's security abroad and making sure we rein in the scale of the federal government. so those will be the issues i think that really are the focus of the campaign over the next several months. >> and very important issues, of course, to conservatives. when you look at some of the polling, i'd read the iowa caucus entrance poll from last night. when asked the question, which is the candidate who can defeat president obama, the most important issue to you, you're way ahead. 49% of the people voted for you who care about that issue. when you ask them, who's a true conservative? let me show you this number. because this is a terrible number for you, sir. you come in at 1%. those issues you just listed, are those issues important to conservatives, how much trouble are you in on that front? >> well, actually, you know, i lead on polls if those who call themselves conservative, look at a place like new hampshire where my record is understood pretty darn well, because i, of course, came from the state next door.
i've got great support from conservatives if tea party members, from evangelicals in new hampshire. you know, i start off -- you may recall some four years ago that mike huckabee and i were the two conservative os in the race. i'm going to do my very best to communicate my vision for the country going forward and i think conservatives will rally around that effort. >> i noticed last night when you were talking about people moving forward to new hampshire you left newt gingrich off that list. when you hear from him, he's very much on the list in his own mind. he sounds like he's going to be on the attack. how worried are you about what newt gingrich is going to be doing as he moves forward to new hampshire as well? >> well, i understand that the speaker is disappointed and, of course, goes on with this campaign, as do others. i think there were three that got a real boost last night, but that doesn't mean the others are gone. they can come back and have a resurgent campaign. and i understand that they'll be
a lot of attacks coming my way. that's the nature of this process, but i have broad shoulders. heck, if you can't handle the attacks at this stage, wait until the white house and the dnc really launch attacks. it's going to be blistering but fundamentally turn back to the president and say, mr. president, you failed. you failed to get this economy going. that was job one, and i understand the economy. i'm going to make it work for the american people. >> what's your strategy now as far as it goes with evangelicals? when you look at the polling numbers how evangelicals, make up, i don't have to tell you, a huge portion of the republican party, you have 14% of their support. that has got to be a challenging number. you look at that number, what's the plan? my strategy with evangelicals is -- what? >> i continue to talk about my best -- i got 24% overall in iowa. 14% among evangelicals there were seven viable candidates on
the field. some had the endorsement of evangelical leaders that didn't include me. so, but i'm pleased with, for instance, i look at a place like nmp m new hampshire. i think i'm leading among evangelical voters there. the last time i looked, leading in michigan. i'll do fine with the different groups in this country as long as i continue to talk about my message in getting america stronger, getting our economy going, shrinking the size of the government and holding firm on the principles of freedom and opportunity that made the country the hope of the earth. >> i want to ask you a question, everybody's looking at new hampshire and, of course, south carolina. i want to look at florida. voors of course in florida you have a large number of latino voters. given the opportunity, you will veto the dream act. you know immigration is a big issue for latino voters. when you say something like that strongly and publicly, are you
essentially handing those voters off to president obama? >> you know, the hispanic-american voters i speak with voters that i speak with are overwhelmingly concerned with opportunity. they want good jobs in america and rising incomes. if they want a president who is going to talk to them about a handout or more benefits for free, they got that guy. if they, instead, want a president who understands the economy who has lived in the economy and understands what it takes to help people get jobs, again, then i'm that person. that is the issue that is deciding the 2012 election. the idea of enforcing our immigration laws, i think people whether they're hispanic or nonhispanic, i think people agree that we'll enforce immigration laws in part to secure legal immigration as an important pathway to this country. i like legal immigration, i want more legal immigration. but illegal immigration has to be stopped to make legal immigration possible.
>> i'm going to open it up and introduce it to our panel and jamal simmons joining me, as well. >> ron brownstein from "national journal." you often criticize president obama and say he pursues policies that manipulate the market. i want to ask you about senator santorum's ideas. a special tax cut for companies completely eliminating corporate income taxes and, thus, they would pay a lower tax rate than other corporations. do you think that also qualifies as manipulating the market. do you think it would be better off letting the market decide where those dollars should flow? >> we stimulate all the sectors of our economy. i'm not looking to stimulate just one. i don't want to pick one winner and one loser. america has been very successful in some of the elements of the new economy and europe has tried to hang on to their old base have found that their
productivity level and gdp per capita has not been able to keep up with america. so, i'm not going to try and guide which way this economy goes. i want to make sure there's a level playing field here. we bring down our tax rates overall and i'm not going to try to pick out the one part of our economy that some would think would be the favorite. >> governor romney, alex here. i got a question for you. >> hi, alex. >> are you going to call them and thank them? >> i got to find those guys. one by-one. i and thank them for that landslide. >> i saw in the des moines register poll that it said that 78% of republicans thought you would be the candidate most likely to bring changes. that is something that was different than last time. what is the one thing that you think means the most change in this country and what would you do about it? >> i think president obama has instituted a policy, which is
the most anti-investment, anti-entrepreneur, anti-small business, anti-jobs philosophy and strategy we've ever seen in this country and i would get america to, once again, be the best place in the world for energize and job growth. that is point one. point two is related to it and that is he has simply grown government way beyond the bounds of reasonableness. he added 135,000 new federal jobs. the deficit is completely out of control. you're going to have to make america attractive for jobs and part of that is shrinking the size of the federal government. >> good morning, governor romney. jamal simmons and i just want to ask you a question about the tea party element in the republican coalition. i have met a few of those folks here this past week and there seems to be a lot of anger towards president obama and questions about trust with you. are you worried at all about a tea party challenge and if you were to win a nomination.
are you worried about a tea-party backed challenger as a third party challenger as you run against president obama? >> you know, a tea partiers and other republicans really share very similar views with regards to the needs to scale down the size of the federal government. to finally balance our budget. and those are very motivating features for the tea party. i also think they believe that a continuation of president obama and his policies would be devastating to the future of the country. so, i believe tea partiers will come together with other republicans and will support our nominee and will make sure that we replace barack obama. i think that's the highest priority, whether you're a more traditional republican or a tea party republican. a lot of independents feel the same way and, by the way, so do a lot of democrats. i speak with democrats almost every day who come up to me and say, look, i'm a democrat, i'm going to vote for you. i'm really frustrated with what the president's doing to this
country. so, i, i don't think you'll see division and splintering. i think you'll see us come together. >> governor, newt gingrich talking about ron paul has said that he thinks that paul is stunningly dangerous. how would you characterize the person who is now number three in this very, very tight race as you all move to new hampshire? >> well, i think you can't ignore the fact that he's connected with a lot of people here in iowa and in other places across the country. people are very concerned about the government and that tends to be the heart of his message. look, i disagree with ron paul on a number of issues particularly foreign affairs and national security. don't ignore ron paul. he's done a heck of a job and, obviously, in a near three-way tie here in iowa, he's showing a lot of strength. >> when you look at the vote by
age, people who are 17 to 29, it's ron paul who got 48% of those voters. you are low in that category at 13%, even rick santorum beat you on that front. so, how do you get those voters who clearly are ron paul voters? is that going to be a big problem for you? >> well, you know, a natural tendency on those who are young to be attracted to congressman paul's views that we should not be involved with internationally. my own view of the reading of history is when america has been isolationist, we have seen bad things happen in the world that result in america getting dragged into very bad things. wars. i believe a very strong america with a very strong military is the best ally every known and i want a stronger military so we don't have to go to war. so, i think these are things that we can communicate to young people and, frankly, the number one issue i hear from young
people on campuses these days, who can get me a good job when i graduate? there's no question there. i'm the guy who has the experience in the private sector to know how to get this economy going, again, and create jobs for young people and people across the age spectrum. >> governor mitt romney joining us this morning, congratulations due to you this morning, sir. thanks for being with us. we appreciate it. >> thanks, soledad. good to be with you. >> you bet. thank you. still ahead, ron paul will join us live to talk about his third place finish in iowa. his campaign plan for new hampshire and then beyond new hampshire. and president obama took it on the chin last night and then, again, minutes ago from mitt romney. but last night he called him a failed president. we'll get the democratic response from dnc chair debbie wasserman schultz.s d revives tired, overworked eyes. and comforts them for up to ten hours. visine® tired eye relief. try now and save $3.
good morning, welcome back, everybody. i'm soledad o'brien. our new show called "starting point." live, once again at iowa cafe and the closest gop presidential contest ever. mitt romney wins by eight votes. we already staked out the next two critical battlegrounds, new hampshire and south carolina. we're talking to ron paul in this hour, who is still in the hunt until most of you were in bed last night. starting poi "starting point" begins right now.
results are in, mitt romney wins iowa, but not by very much. only become official a few hours ago. mitt romney had 30,015 votes and rick santorum only eight votes behind. staying focused on president obama, despite the slim margin of victory last night over rick santorum. >> the right place to focus on is president obama. of course, people will ask us about the differences on positions on backgrounds and issues and so forth but really if we talk about what the american people want to hear, how we're different from president obama when it comes to how getting the economy going and making sure we rein in the scale of the federal government. fundamental fundamentally, we have to turn back to the president and say, mr. president, you failed, you failed to get this economy going. that was job one and i understand the economy, i will
make it work for the american people. >> romney now goes on to new hampshire. he is also picking up a big endorsement from senator john mccain today who twice won the new hampshire primary and beat mitt romney in 2008. coming up just short, it was built on a traditional iowa caucus campaign, close to 400 rallies and all 99 counties santorum with one message to iowa voters before it's off to new hampshire. listen to what he said. >> thank you so much, iowa. >> you, you by standing up and not compromising. by standing up and being bold and leading, leading with that burden and responsibility that you have to be first. you have take on the first step of taking back this country.
>> and after a disappointing showing in last night's caucuses, the texas governor rick perry said he's got some thinking to do. listen. >> but with the voters' decision tonight in iowa, i decided to return to texas, assess the results of tonight's caucus. determine whether there is a path forward for myself in this race. >> in the end, iowa is all about romney and santorum and that, to some degree, ron paul and what about me? ron paul finished third with 21% of the vote. he led entrance polls, both as the true conservative candidate and also the choice of more moderate voters. paul promised to keep on fighting. >> the best way to promote a cause. win elections. that's the way you promote it.
>> winning new hampshire, though, might be tough. ron paul a distant second. representative ron paul joins us now. nice to see you, sir, thank you for being with us. how are you feeling this morning? >> thank you. i'm doing well, thank you. >> well, let's talk a little bit about last night. you, in your speech at the end, you talk about how after thanking all your volunteers that you really felt that freedom is possible, that's a quote and that this was a movement. tell me a little bit about that speech. >> well, that's what i have been talking about for 35 years and i was impress would the enthusiasm of the young people. obviously, we did get a large majority of the young people voting last night. the volunteers are the young kids that come in and they have such enthusiasm and they respond very well to this message of freedom and change foreign policy where we don't sacrifice ourselves overseas and waste our resources and we emphasis
personal liberty and economic liberty and they're enthusiastic about it. so, i would say that this message is growing by leaps and bounds and it's going to continue to do so. >> let's take a look at some of these polls from last night. these are the iowa caucus entrance polls when people took a look at those who voted by age, 17 to 29. you killed in that category. 48% of people were voting for you when they looked at people who characterized themselves as independents, again, at the top, 44%. when you got to the candidate who can beat obama, mitt romney came in at 49% leading that and you came in at a very, very low 9%. how big of a problem is that number for you, sir? >> well, i'm not quite sure how those questions were asked. but if you say i have an attraction to young people, that's what you need. that's what obama had. if you look at independents. what kind of republican thinks they can win without the independent vote?
you have to get the independent vote in new hampshire so the primary is wide open and i would say, if you're looking to obama and i can show you some other polls where we do very, very well, equal to how romney does, you know, against obama. i think that's down the road a little bit, but i think if you look at it carefully you'll find out the message of liberty is appealing to everybody across the board and to others because we have a lot of democrats that come over and come to our rallies, as well as the enthusiasm of the young people. >> what is your strategy now as you head towards new hampshire where you are polling significantly lower than mitt romney is polling? >> i think we're in second place and that's a good place to start. so, i think we're going to have some momentum and we're going to continue to do what we're doing. it's, it's a live free or die state. they're very freedom oriented and that mesnl will spread there and i'm confident we will do quite well. >> newt gingrich said about you,
he believes that you are a stunningly dangerous candidate. and he would not support you. you're laughing. do you worry about that and his ability. i mean, he came in fourth and he is still moving on in this race. you concerned about that at all? >> you know what, you know what i laugh about is that nobody disagrees with me that my reputation is, i strictly adhere to the constitution. i strictly adhere to balance budget and never vote for spending that we can't afford and always lower taxes. i don't want to fight a war that's unconstitutional and i'm the dangerous person. you know, when newt gingrich was called to serve us in the 19 60s during the vietnam era, guess what he thought about danger? he chickened out on that and got deferments and didn't even go. right now he sends the young kids over there and the young people come back and the ones in
the military right now, they overwhelmingly support my campaign. we get twice as much support from the active military personnel than all the other candidates put together. so, newt gingrich has no business talking about danger because he, he is putting other people in danger. some people call that kind of a program a chicken hog and i think he falls into that category. >> when you look at your position on illegal drugs. i think we have a graphic that we can show folks. your position is you would eliminate the war on drugs and you would eliminate most federal drug laws and you have spoken about that a lot. social conservatives may have a very hard time with that. what is your challenge there? are you going to be able to maintain that position and win some social conservatives and make up a big part of the republican party? >> well, yeah, that is my position. it's not exactly as you cited, but i came in pretty good in a very, very socially conservative state. that tells you, it is a very popular position. we have not had a federal war on drugs in our entire history.
but just to say it's legalized is not the case. i take a constitutional approach where the states regulate it, sort of like what they do with alcohol. this war was an abuse of liberty and our prisons are full of people who used drugs that should be treated as patients and they're nonviolent. some day we'll wake up and find out that prohibition, we're following with drugs is no more successful and maybe a lot less successful than the prohibition of alcohol was in the 1920s. people are waking up to this. this has not been harmful. they have known my position and they strongly support my position. >> there was this tweet that i saw last night because i follow you on twitter. and it said ron paul says, @jonhuntsman. we found your one iowa voter. he's in linn precinct 5 you might want to call him and say
thanks. >> i didn't quite understand even what you just read, but, obviously, i didn't send it. so, i don't even understand. i'm sorry, i didn't catch the whole message there about jon huntsman. i haven't talked about jon huntsman in a long time. i don't know what's going on there. >> well, it was sort of a message that was sent out under your name, under your twitter handle @ronpaul was sent to another fellow candidate and kind of a snarky message and you say you don't tweet for yourself, someone else is sending out messages? >> yeah, i have some tweeting, yes. >> okay, so, when i read that, the first thing i saw, again, because i follow you on twitter. that didn't sound super presidential to me and your twitter handle supposed to be sending out your messages and is that something you look at and back away from or say, it's twitter, who cares. >> i don't understand why this is an important issue or what it means and why jon huntsman
wasn't even in the campaign. so, i'm not sure the importance of what you're talking about. it just seems to be irrelevant to me. >> all right, well, i'm going to ask you to meet some of our panelists. david has joined our panel. ron brownstein and jamal simmons and i'll bring them in to ask you some questions, sir. he says irrelevant and maybe twitter is over the top and irrelevant. it brings up issue who is speaking for you. >> obviously raises that issue. >> congressman, alex here. as i travel the country and talk to republicans, they say, you know, i agree with ron paul on a lot of economic issues, maybe even more than other candidates, but when i hear him talk about foreign policy and social issues, gee he sounds like a 1960s leftist, if it feels good, do it democrat. if you're kind of two- thirds democrat and one-third republican, would you ever consider running as a democrat?
>> no, not really. i haven't. but it tells you what the philosophy of liberty does. it appeals to people across the board. and the constitution appeals to people across the board because it brings people together. personal liberties, it's not judgmentals. but it also allows people to spend their money as they see fit. but how can we, how can we separate some of these issues, say, foreign policy from economic issues. they're one in the same. the soviets are brought down because they spread themselves too thinly around the world and they went bankrupt and their system collapsed. that's what we're doing right now. we're in debt of $4 trillion because of the senseless, nonwinnable and unconstitutional, undeclared wars. that is an economic matter. so, money is being spent overseas and wasted is just taken away from medical care and health care and the problems that we have here at home. we worry about borders overseas and we forget about our borders at home.
so, it is an economic issue, so you can't say they agree with me and my job, my job is -- >> i was going to say, so, running as a democrat is something you'd rule out. >> yeah. i haven't put that in -- right now i'm doing pretty well. >> i'll take that as a no. >> right now i'm doing pretty well and i think i'll go to new hampshire and try to gain a little bit on mitt romney. i think that's what i ought to be doing. >> okay, congressman, i have a question. >> your point is well taken. i do work with democrats. there's no doubt about it because that is across the board. but that is our problem. we have been polarized so much so the freedom message brings people together and you get rid of that polarization and that's why i think, especially young people can see this, they're not locked into some of these stereotypes. so, i think they understand the message of freedom very well and that's why we get nearly half of
all their votes. >> congressman david here. i attended a caucus, a precinct caucus last night with a person who spoke on your behalf. didn't mention drugs or anything like that. just described you as a strong, social conservative and supported the marriage of one man and one woman and also someone who is strong on defense. in particular he said you supported both of the use of force in afghanistan and you had supported the use of force to kill osama bin laden. now, some of your own past statements are a little various at what that talker on your behalf said. would you today affirm you supported both the use of force in afghanistan and the killing of osama bin laden? >> yes. i have. i mean, check my records. check the vote, yes. pardon me. i said check the vote. >> congressman paul -- >> this is going to be our last question. >> ron brownstein. congressman paul, ron
brownstein. he has said as recently as this week, he does not believe the famous griswold case was wrongly decided and that means that in his view states should ban private sexual behavior and maybe even contraception. what do you think of that view of senator santorum? >> i think he's very confused. most of these problems should be solved out of state. he is rejecting the ninth and tenth amendment. they should be resolved that state level. i would say if poverty rights and individual liberty and the fourth amendment doesn't protect privacy, what does the fourth amendment do? that is privacy. you're not supposed to have the government come in and invade our houses and that's what the patriot act has done. that's why they repealed the fourth amendment and rick santorum is completely wrong on that. >> congressman ron paul joining us this morning. congressman paul, thank you, congratulations on your third place finish as you head into
new hampshire. we appreciate you being with us. still to come on "starting point" the dnc chair. debbie wasserman schultz will join us live. we'll ask her about the democratic strategy now following mitt romney's "victory in iowa." still a few weeks off, but the florida primary could shape up to be a potential painmaker. we'll head to mihm miami and ta about why, when "starting point" continues. ose pj's you like, i bought you five new pairs. love you. did you see the hockey game last night? [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. ♪ home was an airport lounge and an ipad ♪ ♪ made sure his credit score did not go bad ♪ ♪ with a free-credit-score-dot-com ♪ ♪ app that he had ♪ downloaded it in the himalayas ♪ ♪ while meditating like a true playa ♪ ♪ now when he's surfing down in chile'a ♪ ♪ he can see when his score is in danger ♪ ♪ if you're a mobile type on the go ♪
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inside the diner, we're doing our show from this morning. welcome back, everybody. the obama re-election campaign has been gearing up for a fight with mitt romney. they might get it after squeaking out a victory in iowa last night. romney took the stage and hammered president obama. listen to this. >> he's on track to put almost as much public debt in place as all the prior presidents combined. this has been a failed presidency. >> debber wa eberdebbery wasser joins me. what did you get out of the race and take away as the dnc chair? >> when is a win a loss? it's a loss when you're mitt romney and you spent the most and only beat the guy who spent the least in the state by eight votes. and spent six years and millions of dollars with the repeat and got fewer votes than you got
four years ago. mitt romney has come out limping from iowa into new hampshire and he did it in a way that now he's embraced extremism and embraced the tea party and is really going to have a hard time going through the rest of the race when compared to president obama, who is a man of conviction, who's begun to keep this economy turned around and fighting for the middle class. >> in your mind, you think mitt romney has to move further to the right? >> i think mitt romney has done a good job moving far to the right and bracing extremism and not standing for anything and flip-flopping and having very little conviction. >> i'll cut you off when you get to the talking points. >> no, it's not talking points, it's reality. talking about someone who went from one position to the other. >> what rick santorum was able to pull off last night. >> well, it's a pretty stunning victory. it also shows, though, that this is a field that there is not a lot of enthusiasm for. there has been anybody but
romney cadry for a long time and they may coalesce around rick san totorum santorum. but we had 7,500 people to volunteer with the campaign and we're coming out of iowa with a strong grassroots operation. we used the organizing opportunity last night to move forward and put together a grassroots campaign. >> you're also coming out of iowa with a low approval rating for the president. you look at the numbers and i think we have it on a graphic for you. 49% approve, disapproval is 48%. that's low. >> well, every poll nationally that's been done shows head-to-head that the president beats any of the republicans running. that's because he stood up for the middle class -- >> that's my question. so, with a low approval number for the president, what is being done? >> even with a relatively low approval rating, he still beats any of the republicans in the field head-to-head because
iowans and americans understand that the president has been fighting for the middle class. giving 95% of americans a tax break. to now having 22 straight of job growth in the private sector. not ones who are going to fight to help the healthiest, most fortunate americans. >> mitt romney's strength, of course, we saw this when you talked to last night at the caucuses. one, we think he could beat president obama. number two, he has the experience as a businessman to really be able to help fix the economy. >> his experience, as a businessperson, is one of dismantling businesses. laying people off, forcing companies into bankruptcy. a corporate buyout specialist is not someone that should be holding up his record of job creation. mitt romney is focused on making sure that the wealthiest, most fortunate americans have the wind at their backs and when it comes to middle class policies, not a single thing that he has
laid out in his economic plan that would help the middle class be lifted up and give an opportunity for the american dream. >> but someone who is trying to figure out the american dream would say, right now, president obama is my president and i have a very tenuous hold on the american dream. so, you can point to mitt romney and say here is what he did when he was running but right now with obama as my president, the middle class dream seems to be crumbling, as well. >> let's point to where mitt romney was when they were governor of massachusetts. mitt romney does not have a record to write home about when it comes to job creation. americans look at where they were four years ago, three years ago. where the economy was the precipice of economic disaster and now three years later 23 months. it is starting to get turned around. we have a long way to go, president obama acknowledged that. he has been swinging in there to make things better and the republican field would take us back to the failed of the past.
>> robert reich is predicting that hillary rodham clinton will be -- categorically untrue? >> joe biden and president obama will be the ticket through november 6th of this year. >> debbie wasserman schultz. thank you. >> congratulations on your show. >> thank you. rick santorum trying to prove he's not an iowa wonder only. and mitt romney is sitting very pretty in the polls, despite his very narrow lead. we'll talk about all that straight ahead. stay with us. i want healthy skin for life.
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welcome back, everybody. we're looking forward. the focus is on florida is what i'm trying to say. the race there could be the true first snapshot of how the nation feels and that brings us to our reveal this morning. should these early states matter so much? will there be a president obama? in fact, if iowa didn't go fast. look at that straight ahead. we knew it would take time, but we were determined to see it through. today, while our work continues, i want to update you on the progress: bp has set aside 20 billion dollars to fund economic and environmental recovery.
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that's where we are this morning. the waveland cafe. welcome to our new show, "starting point." we are live in des moines, iowa. we appreciate the hospitality. the folks at waveland. stunning iowa vote to talk about in the next half hour. mitt romney wins iowa and now out to a big lead in new hampshire. reportedly scooping up pricy ad time in florida, which is where newt gingrich is a very big factor and we'll talk about all of that this morning and we're
live looking to the next two critical backgrounds. new hampshire and south carolina, of course. how could the polls change as the candidates start to bow out is what we're expecting. voters here in iowa have kicked off the republican presidential race producing the gop first round of winners and losers. up next, new hampshire, which essentially is a home state for romney and a cnn flash poll shows him way, way ahead another state dominated by evangelicals and goys to bachmann if she stays in the race and a socially conservative message that takes her into florida or one that is dominated by evangelicals and, really, could be the first true test of the nation'sul pulse. this morning we're joined by ryan chairman of the national private committee. he's live in washington. nice to see you both. >> good morning. >> let's begin with you
congresswoman rose. what have people taken away in florida? >> i think florida is more representative of the united states. iowa is a great state, but how well does it represent the demographics of our country, not very well. neither does new hampshire. south carolina comes a little bit closer, but florida is a great microcosm for our great country and i think that we're going to see a strong mitt romney presence here. we're going to come out in record numbers. obviously, i'm for governor romney. i think he has the right message to get our economy going and i know that the main stream media always says, oh, florida, hispanics and immigration. it goes together like peanut butter and jelly. but i'm characterized as a hispanic voter, i was born in cuba. i have gotten many of these romney mailers and they are talking about who can beat president obama and it is all about the economy and all about repealing obama care and cutting
federal spending. those are the issues that really resonate with hispanic voters. it is not just immigration, which is what the main stream media and the dnc, my good friend debbie always tries to sell people. mitt romney is not an extremist. she said the romney/rubio connection would be the most extremist in american history. it's so hyperbole and overblown. >> i get it, mitt romney. you support mitt romney. when you look at the big issues in florida, ronnie, economy, as we heard, is number one. certainly a deficit is another one. top one. florida is really struggling at this time. what is going to happen there? >> well, i think it is the same thing. i think it's the same thing that the entire country is watching and that's what we're highlig highlighting at the committee. the nice thing about the
election for us is that when the facts are on your side, it makes things a whole lot easier. the facts are that this president has specifically made many promises to the american people that he hasn't even come close to meeting. number one, he said he cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term, what did he do? he introduced the biggest financial structure in the world. he introduced more debt than every single president before him. he got health care costs down and health care costs have actually gone up. >> but the facts also are that after a tough battle in iowa, you have three people who move forward. you see a lot of split and you really see a divide that i would say is between people who are economically conservative and people who are socially conservative and isn't that ultimately going to potentially tear apart. isn't that potentially going to tear apart the gop? why not? >> soledad, no bad news here at all. we're outpacing the democrats in
iowa two to one in voter registration. the biggest turnout in iowa caucus since we have records, since 1980. i think probably of all time, but i don't want to go that far. but, certainly, the most in modern times, over 123,000 at the caucuses. it's all good news. i mean, the entire country is talking about who is going to save this country from a president who is intent on continuing policies that are clearly driving us into bankruptcy. so, we're feeling great at the rnc. we have more cash in the bank than the democrats. people are coming to our side and it's our candidates that everyone is talking about, soledad. >> congressman, i can feel you rolling your eyes already as i ask this question, but i have to because it is florida. and florida, the 22% latino population, it's grown. 57% over the last decade. and it is mitt romney who says, i will veto the dream act.
and he has moved very strongly, come up -- is this potentially going to be a problem for him, not only in the state of florida, but in any state that has a large latino population given that latinos, obviously, care about the economy, too. they care about bringing education and all those things and, also, polls show very clearly care about immigration. it is important. >> well, i agree. immigration is an important topic. i disagree with governor romney with his position on the dream act, however, i don't think that immigration is the overriding concern of flor idians or especially hispanics who live in florida. they are concerned about this terrible, stagnant, obama economy where we had no job growth. hispanic families are like every family. they worry about the future for their children. that we have a good education system, do we have jobs that are waiting for them once they graduate from college or graduate from high school. and i think romney's pro-growth,
pro-small business resonates with the hispanic voter. it is not, really, the truth that hispanics only care about immigration and romney victory on january 31st will prove that this is not, well, no, i'm not saying that you did. i apologize for that. but we will find out when mitt romney comes out on top that hispanic voters in the gop, especially, care so much about the economy and they want to make sure that president obama is a one-term president. we made disagree. for me, defeating president obama, making sure he's a one-term president and getting the economy back on track with a mitt romney pro-small business growth plan, that's what i think is the overriding factor for many of the latino voters who will go out in the gop primary january 31. i'm so glad that florida moved up our election to this time,
even though we may get penalized, but it was the right thing to do. we were down in the pack and i get mad at -- >> everybody will be talking about florida, come january 31st. appreciate your time this morning. want to bring back the panel, ron brownstein, jamal simmons and we also have added paul begala -- it is a long night. i have -- you were out later than me. and david, as well. i'm losing it. we have to end the show soon. let's talk about what they talk about. i get the congresswoman's point. people think latinos and all of a sudden it's immigration, immigration. as a cuban american, i totally get that. when you poll latinos, immigration is higher than people who are nonlatino. >> here's the thing. if you look at president obama's approval rating among hispanics it is down significant.
that is the opportunity that congresswoman is talking about. about jobs, the collapse of housing values and this overall economy has hit hispanic communities especially hard. when you do the early matchups of him against the republicans, like mitt romney, his vote share goes back up toward where he was in 2008. >> it's not going over to. >> because immigration may not be the most important issue for latino voters, but it is a threshold issue. if republicans discuss it in the way that many have in the primary, it goes beyond the specifics and kind of threatens to suggest a lack of respect for the community. >> let's remember economically that it creates winners and losers. the biggest group of losers are the biggest cohorts. look at who gains and who loses. the latinos who have most recently arrivered the most threatened. >> that's true. but a lot of the polling also points out. i think when you just chat with people, that sense of hostility.
you can have people who know the immigration fight. they have generations of relatives who have been in -- >> it depends on how you talk about it. it is, i think, fool's gold to suggest that there is gain from supporting immigration, but there is great danger in opposing it in the wrong way. but immigration does have very large economic effects and latinos feel it most. >> mitt romney comes out against the dream act and people who have no dog in the fight about immigration often will feel emotionally about the dream act. when he does it, is he going to be pulled more to the right and have to do more of that because of rick santorum's good showing last night. >> if you're going to have a middle class economic agenda that you can't do it without regard to the impact of middle wages. it has to be a big factor in depressing wages in the middle of the economy. >> what's driving mitt romney's position on immigration is not a thoughtful analysis in the
economy. he drove rick perry down and presumably out of the race and newt gingrich way down, by demagoguing the immigration. he used to have a position on immigration and now here in iowa, where, you know, there aren't lots of immigrants, he ran ads. i saw them. hammering newt gingrich. saying newt gingrich's position is amnesty. sorry to defend mitt gingrich. that was an unfair attack. one was conservative governors of america for wanting to educate the children of undocumented workers. this is going to hurt him over time. it is the largest voting bloc in america. it is growing, rather. and the republicans under mitt romney, at least, are killing themselves with that. >> but, paul -- >> take a middle class economic approach, it could help the republicans not hurt. >> but here's the problem. as ron said. this is a threshold issue and
every election is about trust. do i trust this person to look out for me in the room when nobody else is watching and that's the reason why latinos have a hard time here. no one is complaining about canadians streaming across the border taking jobs. we have to be focused. >> those canadians. >> except for david. >> we have a clip i want to show you. this is an interview that i did with ron paul a little bit earlier and we asked him a question. it was like 98th question in the list of questions about this twitter, this tweet that he sent out. let's play a little chunk of that. ron paul says @jonhuntsman. we found your one iowa voter. he's in linn, precinct 5 you might want to call him and say thanks. did you send that? >> i didn't understand what you just read, but i didn't send it. i don't even understand. i'm sorry i didn't catch the whole message there about jon
huntsman. i haven't talked about jon huntsman in a long time. i don't know what's going on there. >> so, he said after that he said, well, that's irrelevant. you know what was interesting to me and tell me if you guys think this has a potential problem for him. right. because to me it sort of flash back to the news letter thing. he disavowed and said he did not write and, also, decades didn't really step back from it and that seemed to be, am i reading it wrong? >> it raises the same issue. with the news letters, the question is not only read them in advance and not read them after they came out after his own name. >> that is a verified twitter account, by the way. >> always with ron paul, a truth telling question. when he says that doesn't remember, is that true? i was at a precinct where somebody said he supported the killing of osama bin laden. and i asked him, would you reaffirm that. at the time he criticized the killing of osama bin laden. on tv he said, yes, i did. that was not true and that is a big problem. this man was his image of
integrity actually says a lot of things that are very much at variance from the truth. >> let me ask another question, does he know what twitter is? >> he gave the same answer my mother would have given. he seemed very baffled and it's a verified account, which means it is supposed to be him tweeting. >> if you want to lead the country, are you going to be responsible for the people who work for you and under your name. >> all right, panel, stick around. we look ahead at our reveal, the burning question. why do iowa and new hampshire get to go first anyway? "starting point" is back in just a moment. [ female announcer ] splenda® no calorie sweetener is sweet...
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welcome back, everybody. we have been discussing today the important of the early caucus state and the first that goes first to pick the president. a fairer process could be rotating the state so that iowa, new hampshire, south carolina, florida each get a chance to go first. like how the bowls rotate the college football championships. so, how important is the order of states in a presidential campaign? for example, let's look at the 2008 race for the president and the marathon fight.
what if instead of the current rotation in 2008, it was florida's and then new hampshire, iowa and south carolina. instead of senator obama stunning the party establishment by winning in south carolina, senator clinton would have launched the race with a florida win, followed hypothetically by a win in new hampshire. you could argue that her momentum would have been led to an iowa win and then a south carolina victory. so, instead of maybe having the first african-american in office, perhaps we would have had the first woman in office. on the other third hand, i know i'm talking about my mom a lot today, she would have said there is no would have, could have, should have at the race track. maybe all that crunching does not matter at all. stay with us.
failure to get the conservative vote in iowa last night. here's what they had to say. >> my reputation is, i strictly adhere to the constitution. i strictly adhere to balance budget and never vote for spending that we can't afford. always lower taxes. i don't ever want to fight a war that is unconstitutional and i'm the dangerous person. you know, when newt gingrich was called to service in the 1960s during the vietnam era, guess what he thought about danger? he chickened out on that and got deferments and didn't even go. so, right now he send these young kids over there to endure the danger and the kids coming back and the young people come back and the ones in the military right now, they overwhelmly support my campaign. we get twice as much support from the active military personnel than all the other candidates put together. so, newt gingrich has no business talking about danger because he, he is putting other people in danger. some people call that kind of a
program a and i think he falls into that category. >> i continue to believe the right place to focus is on president obama. of course, people are going to ask us about the differences on our positions on issues and backgrounds and so forth but, really, if we talk about what the american people want to hear is how we're going to be different than president obama when it comes to getting the economy going, preserving america's security abroad and making sure we the scale of the federal government. those are the issues, i think, that really are the focus of the campaign over the next several months. and ahead this morning, "starting point" looks at the end point. right after this short break. [ woman ] my husband, hank, was always fun.
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welcome back, everybody. getting to some breaking news now. we're hearing from the michele bachmann campaign that ms. bachmann is going to hold a press conference in west des moines, iowa. she told us yesterday that she was planning to hop on a coach flight and get right to south carolina to continue her campaign, but last night the results very disappointing for her. she got 5% of the vote, the same number of people voted for her that voted for her in the straw poll. there are expectations at that press conference at 11:00 will be to say she is considering dropping out of the race after her huge loss, but, of course, we'll carry that for you live when it happens to see what
michele bachmann is saying at 1 1:00 at her press conference in west des moines. we have reached the end point of the starting point. the cleverness. this is killing you all, isn't it? it's all about the quickness. what is the most important thing to take away from today as we think about not just new hampshire, but also south carolina and maybe even florida, too. >> besides having a great three days here in iowa with you. >> oh, you flatter. >> mitt romney got out of what he wanted out of iowa. rick santorum elevated as his chief challenger. if santorum can steer this race in a one-track direction moments when he remembers the adage, beaware of what you wish for. >> ron paul may or may not know what twitter is this morning. >> i am going to say not. >> the second thing is, you know, romney should actually check, get a food taster while he's in new hampshire whenever newt gingrich is around. newt gingrich is so dead set to
come back at mitt romney for some of the negative ads he ran against him and charged him with abortion and all sorts of things while he was here on the ground. they will be in a death match up in the granite state. >> paul begala, i only interviewed you 638 times over the last 25 years -- >> he's cabinet department. when you look at the stack of paperwork and statistics and polls that we have from last night, what's your take away? what is the poll that is the poll? >> the number that matters most, 30,015. the precise number of votes that mitt romney got. he spent at least $4 million, he and the pac that is aligned with him on the ground. $4 million to lose 6 votes. this is a terrible return on investment. if there is a movie about the romney campaign the title would be "they're just not that into
you." >> last 30 seconds goes to you, david. >> i disagree with you. he may not have gotten many more, but he has gotten enough. the people who hold those three tickets, only one has a landing ticket in the white house. ron paul couldn't be mayor, romney is a potential president. he's the only survivor of iowa among the potential presidents. he's a huge winner. >> well, that is it for "starting point" this morning. a home away from home right here at the waveland cafe and we couldn't have done it without our friend dave stone. dave is the proprietor there and he has been incredible. yeah, really, not only supplying us with coffee and giving us hash browns, which we truly appreciate and incredible hospitali hospitality. we're kind of camped out right in his front door, which has been a little bit difficult for his patrons to come in and out and he has been an absolute gem as well as the folks here, really wonderful.